GeneratorGrid.com is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager
Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by leo
Considering the many benefits of a whole house generator, many homeowners now consider it a must-have item when planning a new house. Most of the time, you don’t require a generator but let’s get real here for a second. Your food will become inedible if the power is out for a long time. You would lose connection to the internet, and your WIFI would stop working. You won’t be able to watch TV, use your laptop or even charge your phone.
Now homeowners understand how priceless it is to have the lights and cooler working even when there is a power failure. A whole house generator can power all the appliances in your house for a long duration if you pick the right one according to your needs.
What is a Whole House Generator?
Generators are devices that provide backup electricity when the primary municipal grid fails to provide electricity. Due to harsh weather and unexpected emergencies, there can be power outages from time to time. If you want to use the electrical appliances in your home without any interruption, a generator is the perfect solution.
There are many different kinds of generators. Whole house generators and portable generators are the most famous ones of the bunch. As the name indicates, whole house generators are used to power the entire house, while portable generators are mainly used for camping or powering some devices in a home.
A whole house generator is most often permanently installed. You can use one or more fuels to run the whole house generator, including natural gas, propane, and diesel. It can take up to 3 days to install a whole house generator. They are generally less noisy than portable generators but much more powerful.
10 Benefits of a Whole House Generator
Are you looking for a reason to invest in a whole house generator? Here are 10 reasons to invest in a generator. We’ll go over several scenarios in which a whole house generator would be very useful and, in some cases, a lifesaver.
Uninterrupted Supply of Electricity
When the power from your local grid line goes out, a whole house generator kicks in automatically. It detects the power outage and starts the generator immediately, as opposed to a portable generator, which must be started manually after a power outage.
Compared to a portable generator, a whole house generator can power more appliances and has a longer run time. Although both portable and whole house generators are powered by fuel, whole house generators are directly connected to the fuel source, while portable generators rely on its limited fuel tank capacity.
Prevents Food From Being Spoilt
Refrigerated foods require electricity to keep them from spoiling. Foods that would otherwise go to waste could be worth hundreds of dollars. In which case, you’ll wish you had a whole house generator installed in your home.
Whole house generators can keep the freezer running as long as needed in the event of a power outage. Only a handful of portable generators will keep the freezer running for more than 10 hours which might not be enough in an emergency.
You Are A Home Business Owner
Every second is essential when you are running a business. If you are a home business owner, you need to install a whole house generator to continue your business operations 24/7. Every company more or less nowadays has an online presence, and to provide constant support to your customers, you need to have an active internet connection at all times.
Almost all major home businesses run smoothly thanks to a variety of electrical appliances. A whole house generator can provide backup support for days in case of an emergency power failure.
You Live In A High-Risk Zone
High-risk zones are areas that are prone to experiencing extreme weather conditions, increasing the likelihood of a power outage. In such areas, a whole house generator is more of a necessity than a luxury. Besides that, power outages can last longer in such areas, making whole house generators a far better choice than portable generators.
Heaters and air conditioners must be turned on at all times in areas with extreme temperatures to keep the house safe and comfortable. During power outages, the most effective way to accomplish this is to install a whole house generator in homes located in high-risk areas.
Essential For Farming
For people who live in rural areas, a whole house generator is an excellent investment. Whole house generators provide backup power during power outages, which is critical in farming.
Even when there is no power outage, whole house generators can be useful for agricultural activities such as irrigation, food storage, running electrical appliances, and so on.
It takes a lot of energy to keep the electrical appliances used in farming running. Whole house generators have the capability and runtime required to continue farming operations for extended periods.
Patient In Home Requiring Electrically Powered Device
If you have a loved one in your home who requires a medical device on a regular basis, installing a backup generator is critical to that person’s survival. In such cases, power outages without a backup generator can be fatal.
When someone relies on a medical device, even a brief loss of power can be lethal. A whole house generator is a better choice because it starts up automatically, instantly restoring power when needed.
You Rely On Well Water
The municipality’s water supply is pressurized, so you won’t need electricity to have running water. But if you use electric pumps to transport water from the well to your home, you’ll need a backup generator.
It’s best if you keep the electric pump running to bring water from the well to your house even during a power outage by installing a backup generator.
Your Basement Has A Sump Pump
Sump pumps can be found in flood-prone homes where water accumulates in the basement due to intense rainfall. The sump pump is used to pump out the water from the basement outside the house. It is especially important during the rainy season.
Ironically, the majority of power outages occur during floods and heavy rains, causing the sump pump to fail when it’s most needed. If you have a whole house generator, you won’t have to worry about that!
Best Choice For Homeowners
Portable generators have numerous advantages, and in many cases, they are the best option. When it comes to running a house, however, whole house generators are designed for the task. Whole house generators are much safer because they are permanently installed outside your home.
It’s not necessary to manually start a whole house generator. You also won’t have to worry about backfeeding if the generator is installed by a certified technician.
It’s A Good Investment
Installing a whole house generator is expensive, and the generator itself is also pricey. Other costs include repairing parts and paying experts to perform scheduled generator maintenance.
But when you consider the convenience it provides during power outages, it can be a very good investment.
It is, in many cases, your insurance policy against weather-related power outages over which you have no control. Generators also keep your appliances safe from sudden power outbursts, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.
Best 3 Whole House Backup Generators to Buy in 2021
The first step to buying a whole house generator is determining what appliances you need to run in your home. You can use this generator calculator to find out what kind of running watts you need to run your electrical appliances smoothly.
You can also check out this whole house generator sizing guide to find out more about the type of generator you need. This guide also contains a lot of valuable information on the installation cost of a whole house generator.
After finding the running and starting wattage your generator needs to produce, you can begin your hunt for the perfect whole house generator for your home. To make your job easier, here are the top 3 whole house generators available in 2021:
With the Duromax XP10000E, you get the best of both whole house generators and portable generators. It is easy to move around and has low noise levels, making it a good fit for home use. The generator packs 8000 running watts and 10000 starting watts for 10 hours on 50% power. It contains two outlets for the household and several others as well.
At 50% load, the WGen5500 has a runtime of 14 hours, providing 5500 running watts and 6875 starting watts, which is very impressive. It can power heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators, coolers, heaters, and similar appliances, giving you comfort and luxury even during a power outage. In addition, it is EPA and CARB compliant, making it safe for use which is very important for homeowners.
Briggs and Stratton 40396
The Briggs and Stratton 40396 has 20,000 running watts, perfect for running a small house for long hours. However, if your home is big, it can efficiently run more power-demanding electrical appliances, allowing you to live through the power outage smoothly. Unlike the other two generators, it is permanently installed, but it comes with flexible placement options.
You can check out this article containing more whole house generators if none of these 3 generators meets your requirements.
Buying Guide For Whole House Generators
When purchasing a whole house generator, there are a few key features to look for. These features ensure the whole house generator’s safety and performance:
Automatic CO Shutoff
Some generators include CO sensors, which allow them to shut down the generator automatically if CO levels become dangerously high. Although portable generators should have this feature, be sure to look for it in your whole house generator too.
An automatic start is a handy feature that most whole house generators have. If this feature is available, you don’t have to manually start the generator, which can be time-consuming.
Oil is used to lubricate the moving parts of a generator, allowing it to run smoothly. The low-oil shutoff feature enables the generator to shut down automatically when it detects a low oil level. This feature is common in standby generators, and it’s becoming more common in portable generators too.
Does a Whole House Generator Increase Your Home Value?
According to some reports, installing a whole house generator can increase the value of a home by up to 5%. Because generators make a home more secure and comfortable, it is easy to see why.
According to another report, you can expect your home’s value to increase 1.5x the actual price of your generator. For example, if you spend $1000 on a generator, your home’s value will increase by $1500.
How Long Can You Run a Whole House Generator?
Unlike portable generators, whole house generators are directly connected to the fuel source. So as long as it has continuous access to a fuel supply, it can run indefinitely. In most cases, natural gas and propane are used as fuels for whole house generators. Some whole-house generators run on diesel as well.
What Size of a Whole House Generator Do I Need?
The size of the whole house generator required to power your home is determined by the number and type of electrical appliances you intend to use during an outage. In general, a 5000-7500 watt generator can power heavy-duty appliances such as refrigerators, well pumps, heaters, and coolers.
In this article, we discussed the definition of a whole house generator as well as all of its significant benefits. Knowing the benefits of having a whole house generator makes it easier to determine whether or not you need one. In most cases, the answer is yes.
Before buying a standby generator, read our buying guide, so you know what to look for when choosing a whole house generator. Be sure to share this article with anyone looking to buy a home generator!
If you have any questions about the benefits of generators or want to know more about whole house generators in general, feel free to comment below.
Scott Krager purchased generatorgrid.com in the summer of 2020 and quickly began to buy every generator under the sun! He currently has over a dozen generators and the number is growing quickly. He lives in Portland, OR near his family and friends.